lopettaa = finish?

Discussion in 'Suomi (Finnish)' started by Gavril, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Moippa kaikki,

    In the last thread, I wrote this sentence with the verb lopettaa --

    which Altazure then corrected:

    The WSOY dictionary lists "finish" as a possible translation of lopettaa, so there seems to be a nuance of lopettaa that I don't quite understand.

    Would lopettaa work in any of these sentences?


    Minulta meni kaksi kuukautta kuvanveiston lopettamiseen.

    Rakennustöiden lopettaminen vei kuusi kuukautta.

    Suvi toi kaksi sankoa kaivoon ja yritti nostaa vettä, mutta vipu oli hyvin ruosteinen. Tunnin kuluttua hän ei ollut vielä lopettanut.



    Kiitos ajastanne
     
  2. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
     
  3. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Niin, tarkoitin "viimeistelyä".

    Would you say that it's acceptable (though uncommon) to say "lopettaa veden nostaminen kaivosta", or does the meaning of lopettaa not fit this context at all?

    Kiitos vielä kerran
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  4. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    It depends. Sometimes it fits:
    - Hän lopetti veden nostamisen saatuaan saavin täyteen.
    Even your example could work in a certain context:
    - Hänet määrättiin vain puoleksi tunniksi nostamaan vettä, mutta tunnin kuluttua hän ei ollut vielä lopettanut.
     
  5. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hmm. The WSOY dictionary gives at least two examples in which lopettaa is translated as "to finish":

    lopettaa työnsä "to finish one's work"
    lopettaa syöminen "to finish eating"

    Could you say lopetin työni if you stopped working right in the middle of a job (because the work-day was over), and would you normally say lopetin syömisen if you stopped eating right in the middle of a meal (because you had to go somewhere else)?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
  6. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Yes and yes.
     
  7. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Thanks. Based on this, I suspect that the translation of lopettaa as "finish" (by WSOY and other dictionaries) is a little bit misleading. The verb finish (as I understand it) usually means to bring an action to completion, whereas it seems that lopettaa means to stop doing something, regardless of whether you've reached the point of completion or not.

    There might be situations where you stop doing something because you've finished it, so the meaning of lopettaa would overlap with that of finish, but that alone doesn't justify listing "finish" as the primary definition of lopettaa in dictionaries.
     
  8. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    You are absolutely right, Gavril.
     
  9. akana Senior Member

    English - USA
    This has always confused me as well. My Finnish dictionary (Suomen kielen perussanakirja) explicitly says as definition 1 for lopettaa:
    "suorittaa jnk työn t. toiminnan viimeinen vaihe, tehdä jk valmiiksi, saattaa jk loppuun, päätökseen"

    In addition, it lists an interesting example:
    "Oli l:tamassa ruokailuaan."

    ...using the partitive and the 3rd infinitive, which implies an extended action consistent with "finish:" "Was finishing his/her meal." It's difficult to imagine an instance in which we would say, "was stopping his/her meal."

    Yet Finns seem quite consistent about lopettaa not fitting that usage very well, and frankly, it sounds too sudden and too close to loppu for me to ever feel very comfortable using it for "finish."

    Maybe it's a literary usage that has become very rare?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

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